Cairns celebrates Indigenous art

Anticipation is building ahead of the return of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.

Far north Queensland residents and visitors are invited to join a celebration of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures of Queensland in tropical Cairns.

The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) program includes:

  • Opening and closing ceremonies;
  • Virtual galleries and exhibitions;
  • Fourth annual Art Awards; 
  • Fashion Showcase with the theme Water Is Sacred;
  • Story-time sessions for children;
  • Online art demonstrations and music, dance and comedy performances;
  • Talks on Indigenous tourism, the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s voyage to Australia, Indigenous fashion and climate change;

Market Place where art and craft will be available to buy direct from the artists and designers.

Queensland Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said CIAF helped to showcase Indigenous culture this every year through its program of arts and cultural activities.

“The arts sector was impacted by the pandemic and the Palaszczuk Government is supporting the industry through the $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package,” Ms Enoch said.

“This $200,000 funding for CIAF… will help the fair build on the incredible success of last year’s event, which saw over $330,000 in arts sales, and reached more than 2.5 million people in 85 countries.

“Because of the pandemic, last year’s fair moved entirely online, allowing Queensland’s First Nations artists, history and culture to be showcased on an international scale.

“This year’s festival is sure to be another hit.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said it was exciting to welcome back the festival.

“CIAF is an important part of our Cape York and Torres Strait Island communities each year, so it is great to welcome it back once again for 2021 in both a physical and digital format,” Ms Lui said.

“The fair will continue to evolve as an innovative festival, spanning visual arts, dance, theatre, music, fashion and more.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said CIAF provided an opportunity for residents and visitors to explore Queensland’s rich artistic and cultural offerings.

“The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair has played a key role in the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to providing arts and culture experiences that are unique to Queensland,” Mr Healy said.

CIAF is held from 17-22 August.